Why Corporates should contribute to open source?
We aggregate and tag open source projects. We have collections of more than one million projects. Check out the projects section.
Open source is leading innovation in all technological areas. Open source awareness has spread around the world. Schools and Colleges students speak about it. Government organization think about it. Corporates relay on open source technological stack to build their enterprise or cloud products.
Corporates get various advantages by using open source products.
- License cost is very less or some times it is nil
- The open source products are used and tested by people around world
- Talent or resource availability on any particular technology is more
- Corporates spend on IT training is reduced
Corporates gets huge benefit out of using open source products. But sad part is only very few companies sponsor for open source products. Most of them just consume it but not interested in paying back.
Open source developers have passion to build a software and they build it. But they have to economically survive so that they can continue to contribute.
Below is the typical conversation happens in most of the organization.
Manager : Hi, what is the status of the feature you are working on?
Developer: Hi M, I am working on it but to complete i need to use an open source library
Manager : Oh Ok. Don't use any library without my approval. We need to consult our legal team
Developer: Ok. But without this library it would be difficult to complete the task
Manager : Mmm.. Is it GPL?
Developer: No. MIT
Manager : Ok, then fine, go ahead and use it
Developer: Cool.. thanks
Manager : Also, in our readme section, add the project information. We need to give credit to the developers
As per the license giving credit is fine but it is also good if they pay or sponsor little to the open source companies or developers.
Every company maintains an audit of using any proprietary products. They maintain license count, its license expiry date etc. But when it comes to using open source products there is no audit. Only the developer and his immediate manager knows what open source library used in their project or in that team.
I personally feel sad, when i see below images in Github page.
To sustain open source development it is good if corporates audit their use of open source products across all teams. Pick top 10 or 100 open source products and sponsor them.
Various open source consortium should be formed. Open source developers should associate their products with the consortium. Corporates donate to the consortium which in-turn should distribute to open source companies or developers.